Training Practice by Penny Hackett is one of those old books that still has a lot to offer in our current learning and development landscape. You might think because it has ‘training’ in the title, the book is not relevant, but that is simply not true. While there is some information you should not attention to anymore in the book, it has a lot of practices which I believe learning and development practitioners should go back to. For instance, it reminds us of what training is, the difference between training and learning and what makes training work. Continue reading
There is no doubt that one of the most difficult things for us to do is say NO to people. For instance we want to say NO to being part of that project our manager has volunteered us for, but we sheepishly say yes. Or we don’t want to follow our spouse to that party because we would rather rest at home, but we still say yes. What about saying No to yet another request for another toy from your daughter. You know she’s only going to use it for three days before something else catches her attention. What do you say to that? Yes. The “want to say NO but end up saying yes” goes on and on and on for us. We all have areas in our lives where we would rather say NO but still say yes.
One of the best things we can do in such cases is prepare ourselves to say NO. William Ury has a great framework for how to do this. He wrote about it in his book called, The Power of a Positive NO. You can read my review of the book here. The steps in Ury’s framework are:
- Uncover your YES.
- Empower your NO.
- Respect your way to YES.
In coming posts I will briefly introduce each step.
William Ury has been teaching me about respecting others and that’s even if people disrespect me. These ten quotes from his book, The Power Of a Positive No, really resonated with me and have really made me think about the importance of respecting others. Let me share them with you.
- Before we can truly give respect to the other, we need to give respect to ourselves because it allows our respect for the other to be genuine.
- Some people didn’t like the ceremonious style, writes Churchill. But after all, when you have to kill a man, it costs nothing to he polite.
- Respect does not mean liking the other personally – because you may not. It does not mean doing what the other wants – because you are about to do the opposite. What respect does mean is simply to give value to the other as a human being just as you would like others to give value to you.
- To be respected means to be seen and to be heard – every human being deserves that chance.
- Basic respect begins with concrete behaviours, such as listening and acknowledging, which may (or may not) lead to genuine feelings of respect. The important thing for the moment is to act with respect, whatever your feelings may be.
- When I’m dealing with an armed criminal, my first rule of thumb is to be polite (from a police officer).
- An obvious reason to give respect to the other is because it works.
- Respect, in short is the key that opens the door to the other’s mind and heart.
- When we respect the other, we give ourselves the opportunity to look again at someone whom fear and anger may have kept us from seeing fully.
- Respect, in the sense I am using it here, is not something that needs to be earned by virtue of good behaviour; every human being deserves it simply by virtue of being human.
Books certainly teach us great lessons and here is one lesson I really like from Getting To Yes With Yourself by William Ury.
On one occasion in the White House when Lincoln was speaking sympathetically of the plight of the South, a Yankee patriot took him to task. “Mr. President,” she decried, “how dare you speak kindly of our enemies when you ought to he thinking of destroying them?” Lincoln paused and addressed the angry patriot: “Madam,” he asked, “do I not destroy my enemies when I turn them into my friends”
On this William commented that:
Taking a lesson from Lincoln, we might look around and ask ourselves if there are any “enemies” in our lives whom we can “destroy” by turning them into our friends.
I believe the lesson speaks for itself.
Nowadays I’m learning to listen to people’s story before speaking. Instead of jumping straight to judge people’s behaviour, I want to try and understand clearly the motivations behind their behaviour. And I’m not doing very well. It’s really difficult and to succeed at it I need to practice a lot.
Unfortunately we live in a world that encourages us to judge people without understanding their full story. The number one culprit that promotes this behaviour is the media. We get given information everyday which in most cases tells us only one side of the story or doesn’t furnish us with the history that led to the story and we believe.
Next time you decide to say something judgemental about someone because of their behaviour. Pause for a second and ask yourself, what’s behind this behaviour? Maybe, just maybe that will help you to suspend your judgement and listen to the person.